After dominating the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight division for the last six years, Georges St-Pierre is seemingly on the cusp of cleaning out the 170-pound weight class which will probably leave him at a crossroads in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
And while the idea of retirement is at least being tossed around by Team St. Pierre, UFC President Dana White believes "Rush" still has plenty of time left in the sport. But if he did choose to hang his gloves up for good, St. Pierre could do so at such a young age because the Zuffa-owned fight promotion has obviously been very generous when writing out his paychecks.
Furthermore, when asked what he thought of St. Pierre's mentor, Kristof Midoux, advising "GSP" to retire after Saturday night's (Nov. 16, 2013) title fight at UFC 167 against Johny Hendricks and pass the torch to Rory MacDonald, White had this to say to MMA Fighting:
"Passing the torch to Rory MacDonald, who knows if Rory MacDonald is even good enough to be the champion. You don't know that until the guy goes out there and starts fighting. Georges St. Pierre is a special individual who has defended this title since 2007, regained the title back from Matt Serra but even held the title before he lost to Matt Serra. Guys like this don't come along, there is no passing of the torch to anyone. You either have what it takes mentally, physically and emotionally to be that guy or you don't. Nobody knows if Rory MacDonald is even there yet."
"Georges St. Pierre has plans. I'm sure his guys have ideas and plans for him. I can tell you this; and I hear this all the time when I hear guys say they don't want to fight Georges St. Pierre. When I talk about Georges St. Pierre's bank account, Georges St. Pierre without a doubt has the bank account to retire. Unless he's out there blowing all of his money that I'm not aware of, but he's not that type of guy as far as I know. He could retire Saturday and do very well."
Indeed, big fight purses and lucrative blue-chip sponsorships have secured St. Pierre's financial future, but according to his head trainer, Firas Zahabi, it's not how much coin he has in his piggy bank that will determine when the French-Canadian superstar retires, but rather, his motivation.
And according to St. Pierre, who also spoke to MMA Fighting, he is very happy with where he currently is in MMA and his motivation is still at a very high level.
"Listen, I've been asked the same question last three fights. I love my job, I said this the last three fights and I will say the same thing, I don't know when I'm going to retire. It could be in one week, it could be five years or 10 years. Right now, I'm really happy with what I do. I feel very happy, very motivated and I'm planning my next fight, not my retirement. People who love me, they want me to retire on top. It's normal. Every time I step inside the Octagon, it's a big risk and of course they want me to retire on top. But, the truth is, I'm the one who will decide about that. It's up to me to make that decision. And whatever my decision is, these people that I love and really care about me they will be with me no matter what"
There's no doubt "Rush" will have to keep his motivation meter up as he prepares to take on perhaps the most powerful puncher he's ever faced inside the Octagon as he meets "Bigg Rigg" this weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada. But for now, I think we can put all of the St. Pierre retirement talk to bed.